Christmas presents and Christmas past

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 22 December 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1463
  1. Lucy F Pendered, general practitioner
  1. Taunton, Somerset TA2 7BL

    The December issues of magazines for general practitioners often contain articles about patients giving presents to their doctors. These articles urge unsuspecting registrars to consider the hidden agenda of patients bearing gifts and make suggestions about how to respond. However, there is one solution with which I live comfortably and have never yet seen suggested in print—give them something back. I can almost hear the gasps of horror, yet this is not nearly as onerous as it sounds and should not involve anything expensive. Nevertheless, it is certainly not appropriate for everyone.

    I am talking about the chronic givers—elderly people and those who are doctor dependent. One woman has …

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